Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Green Mountain

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: Mount Desert, Me.

Green Mountain

By John Weiss (1818–1879)

(From Mount Desert)

WITH jocund friends the island’s mount I climb

To kindred gladness that, beyond the wood

Whose pines are heavy with the solitude,

Sacks all the space of sea and sky sublime.

Rocks, left austere by winter, laugh again

With sweet and happy hearts at summer-tide;

O’er cliff and ledge and wave goes laughter wide,

As o’er the sea noon’s pelting silver rain.

A flock of little sails below appears

To forage all along the shining waste;

Now huddled, and now scattering, without haste,

For morning waifs, like sea-birds, each one steers.

Of all the sails that catch the sun, and smile,

There ’s one that takes my own mood out to sea:

Its laughing side is hidden on the lee;

Its shadow tacks to windward all the while.

Mid all the gladness, just a faint reserve

Wafts me apart, but not to scowl and gloom;

The world’s wide laughter keeps me in its room,—

My shadow is not sharp enough to swerve.

’T is but the thickness of a sail between.

A cloud has caught its buoyant, gilded woof,

Too thin to keep the sailor’s heart aloof:

He ’s comrade still of all the happy scene.